White poppies Remembrance Day

Wear your red (or white) poppy

At 10:55 am yesterday, I stood up, plugged my phone into the speaker dock and listened to the National Remembrance Day Ceremony from Ottawa. The ceremony is exactly the same every year: The National Anthem, The Last Post, 2 minutes of silence, the lament, the Act of Remembrance, the Guns, the fly over.

Let me be honest, I don’t “get” the white poppy movement. Truth be told, I find it a touch offensive. But, I can respect someone’s right to chose to wear one, but for this:

I was told that I glorify war with my red poppy. As I stood, in my kitchen, as I have stood by the guns, listening to the salute, at cenotaphs, in the snow, in the rain, in bright sunshine. As I have stood for every Remembrance Day in my memory, I have somehow glorified war.

I thought I was just remembering. I thought I was just honouring. It is only in recent memory that we have repatriated our dead. For the big wars of last century, you laid where you fell. Those rows of white crosses in France? Those contain our fellow citizens underneath. Passed out of recent memory, it seems to me, I can pin the flower that blooms amidst the rows to my jacket and remember that not everyone came home. Not everyone who has gone to war for the service of their country, because they were asked or merely drafted and sent – not everyone has come home. I don’t have to like the war, I don’t have to think it is just, fair or reasonable that we are there. I have avenues to argue my points.

No, for a brief season, I can remember – the government asked them to go and fight another war, in another country. And these achingly young men went. And not all of them came back. That is what war is. Muck and gore and death.

Tell me your white poppy symbolizes peace, so that no young men will go to war. I’ll concede the point that peace is almost always better. I won’t argue for the just war – I won’t argue with you about where our troops should go or not go.

But tell me that I glorify war by remembering our dead- I will look around at the young men I know and love, I will stop and stare hard.


Marijuana a bigger US cash crop than corn or hay

2006-12-18 10:34:30 by azmabehtaroon

The value of the marijuana grown in the United States is greater than all of the corn or hay produced in the country's agricultural sector, according to a story in today's Los Angeles Times.
The article by reporter Eric Bailey quotes a report from Jon Gettman, an independent consultant who used government statistics to show the value of marijuana as a cash crop. The drug's worth exceeds $35 billion, and its illicit cultivation in the US has grown by ten times since 1981.
But the US government responded that the drug should not be legalized. A representative of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy warned that "Coca is Colombia's largest cash crop and that hasn't worked out for them, and opium poppies are Afghanistan's largest crop, and that has worked out...


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